The Consulate General of Peru hosted its first ever Taste of Peru Festival in Dubai. It featured all the gastronomic Peruvian delights along with a special guest appearance of Mr. Christian Bravo (a Peruvian chef of course) and live performances of Peru Andino, a prominent group of Peruvian musicians.
A Peruvian colleague of mine asked me to join her in this event and I immediately said yes, without even thinking twice. The festival was held in Souk Madinat’s ampitheater which lasted for the whole weekend (28FEB-02MAR). The weather was fantastic, a little bit chilly if I may say which is why a considerable amount of their pisco sour drink was consumed by yours truly. I needed it to warm me up (bleh!)
What its made of: A Peruvian Pisco is used as the base liquor and the addition of lime (or lemon) juice, syrup, ice, egg white, and Angostura bitters
With the help of our Peruvian colleague, we made a beeline to the food stalls around the area. I had the following:
Tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish, similar to sashimi and carpaccio, in a spicy sauce. It reflects the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peruvian cookery and differs from ceviche in the way in which the fish is cut and in the lack of onions. Common garnishes include sweet potato and boiled corn. Stylized variants may include such ingredients as scallops, and a small amount of searing.
The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers. Additional seasonings, such as chopped onions, salt, and coriander, may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors, such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, avocado or plantain. As the dish is not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh to minimize the risk of food poisoning.
Those two were appetizers as indicated by my colleague. Both were sour and I couldn’t imagine eating it with an empty stomach, just the thought of it already gives me gastritis. We actually have a Filipino version of it called kilawin, instead of lemon we cook it in vinegar. I liked the tiradito more than the ceviche though. After those two appetizers, we ate beef saltado. It was so good that I forgot to take a photo of it. As my colleague tried to explain what it was to me, all I remembered was that it was marinated in red wine which I think what made it really good. I asked her to cook it for me next time. Hah!
It was a fun evening filled with all things Peruvian – food, music, people (I didn’t know that there are a lot of Peruvians here in Dubai) and pisco sours. I will definitely attend the event again next year.